Wednesday, 20 January 2016

Kyrgios too talented for Cuevas

Tonight on Hi Sense Arena Nick Kyrgios faced 41st ranked Pablo Cuevas from Uruguay in his second round match.  Cuevas has been as high as 21 in the world and he began the match in style with a convincing hold of serve.

Kyrgios served a mixture of brilliance and unsuredness, a second serve at 200 km/h an example of how edgy he was looking.  He won the game though, and on the Cuevas serve next game he managed to reach break point thanks mainly to errors flowing from the South American racquet.  
A slashing forehand created a second break opportunity once the first had disappeared, and a backhand hit long from Cuevas confirmed a 2-1 lead for the flamboyant but still unsettled Aussie.

Three aces from Kyrgios made 3-1 an easy target, but Cuevas quickly raced to 2-3 with equally effective if not devastating serving.
Careless tennis from Kyrgios allowed Cuevas to take the Aussie to deuce, and a wide forehand provided a break point for Cuevas.  Nick at the net was strong and saved it, and served well to win the game, a sweet backhand cross court winner the final point.  4-2.

Apart from a double fault, Cuevas was in complete charge in the seventh game, holding serve to trail 3-4.  Kyrgios played to the crowd in the eighth game, with plenty of tricks but he was good enough to easily prevail and lead 5-3.

Cuevas again served with great purpose, allowing Kyrgios nothing to work with, and the love game forced Kyrgios to deliver another lot of bullets to win the set.

A long rally won by Nick enabled him to level at 15-15, and another to lead 30-15.  Set points arrived following a slashing winner, and the signature ace announced that set one was owned by Kyrgios 6-4.

Set two was highlighted early by some brilliance from Kyrgios in the third game including a stop volley which set up break points.  A ground shot long by Cuevas gave Kyrgios a 2-1 edge, serve to come.

A single error was a minor punctuation in the middle of more huge serving and a Kyrgios ace won him another game for 3-1.  Cuevas proved just as efficient and the scoreline showed 3-2 for Nick and anyone else keen to view.

Too cute on a drop shot and then beaten by a forehand pass at the net, Kyrgios faced 0-40 after pushing a groundshot wide.  Steady in a crisis two points were saved but not steady enough as the backhand netted gave the break back to Cuevas and 3-3 was the result.

Cuevas served as well as he had all match and Kyrgios was powerless to respond, games still on serve at 4-3 but the momentum clearly with Uruguay.

4-4 after a much more typical service game from Nick, but Cuevas was giving nothing away now that he was back and an off forehand winner stamped confirmation of his domination of the ninth game.  At 4-5 Kyrgios could not afford any slip up.

Quality to the fore with forehand and backhand winners and an ace to win the game and Kyrgios levelled at 5-5.  Two break points following some searching rallies were available to Kyrgios, the first of which he wasted with a wayward shot.  His concentration returned and he controlled the next point until its conclusion - a netted shot from Cuevas.  Nick had the lead 6-5 and could serve for a two set lead.

Swiftly Nick did the job and he was two thirds of the distance towards a third round clash with Berdych leading 6-4 7-5.

Set three and 15-30 and Cuevas needed a spark.  Two big serves did the trick.  He held for 1-0.
A lucky net cord for Cuevas only served to interrupt a superb service game from Kyrgios with shot making of the highest calibre all over the court.  1-1

Clever work at the net from Kyrgios kept him in the next service game of Cuevas. A break point arrived, and as he'd done in the first and second sets, Nick broke Pablo in the third game. 2-1 and in cruise mode.

A love game from the Aussie, then what began as an easy hold but ended a little more tightly for the Uruguayan, took the score to 3-2 in favour of Kyrgios.

Another love game from Kyrgios accelerated the race to the finish.  He now led 4-2 with no apparent intention of damaging the Cuevas delivery any further.  Pablo held easily once more for 3-4.

The second serve for Kyrgios had all night placed him in good stead, providing him a confidence to go for it with every first serve attempt.
However, loss of concentration from Nick donated points to Pablo and it was 15-40. The invitation to break was to good to refuse and a down the line winner clinched the break back. 4-4.

An ace took it to 30-15 for Cuevas before Kyrgios levelled after an error from Pablo's racquet.  Two excellent serves collected errant responses and Cuevas now assumed front running in the set 5-4.
Pressure for one of the few times now on Kyrgios.

A stunning backhand winner from Nick steadied him for 15-15 but he was struggling after two more errors and faced two set points.  One saved with a 200 km/h second serve, the second with another big serve. The game was his with further great deliveries and it was 5-5.  Amazing stuff.

Cuevas responded with a terrific love game to lead 6-5 and Nick now needed to reach a tie break if he was to win this set and with it the match.  A wild error cost Kyrgios the first point and he squared the ledger with a top serve. A clean winner and an ace took him to within a point of the tie break and the next point ensured we were there.

The first four points were on serve, unsurprisingly. but a backhand winner from Kyrgios handed him the advantage.  At the change of ends the Aussie led 4-2 after another winner, this time cross court.
An off forehand down the line was well clear of Cuevas and Kyrgios was at 5-2.

Four match points were the Australian's following a shot landing in the corner and he claimed victory with a backhand cross court winner to die for.

Nick Kyrgios will play Tomas Berdych in a huge third round clash after a straight sets win 6-4 7-5 7-6

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